Student Life Staff Team
Rabbi Aryeh and Sharona Kaplan
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan and Sharona Kaplan, MSW are in their second decade as the JLIC couple at UCLA. Originally from Teaneck, NJ, the Kaplans – who met in High School - now live in Westwood with their six young children. Bringing with them expansive experience in informal Jewish education, programming, community building and engagement, the Kaplans’ warmth, sincerity and passion attracts and inspires students and community members alike. The Kaplans are sought after mentors, teaching brides and grooms before their weddings, escorting students through an array of defining life cycle events and offering advice and personal counsel to students.
Rabbi Alex Kress
Reform Senior Jewish Educator
Ordained in 2017 from HUC-JIR in Los Angeles, Rabbi Alex Kress is passionate about innovating Jewish practice and making Judaism fun and meaningful. After serving two years at a synagogue on Long Island, Rabbi Kress and his family have returned to LA to join the Bruin family. No matter your background, Rabbi Kress looks forward to exploring Judaism, repairing the world, and dreaming what the future can be future together.
Springboard Innovation Fellow
Molly is originally from Denver, CO and just graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in Hebrew. As much as she loves math, she is much more passionate about being active in the Jewish community and welcoming people in, which makes her SO excited for her new role as the Springboard Innovation Fellow at UCLA. She has an extreme love for the land of Israel and even spent a semester studying there as a part of the Nachshon Project. Molly has spent the last 12 summers at Camp Ramah in California and could not be more excited to be moving out west. Get in touch with Molly if you want to help reimagine Jewish life on campus or just to hear her contagious laugh.
Springboard Social Justice Fellow
Maili graduated from Syracuse University as a dual Political Science and Religion major. Born and raised in sunny San Diego, she is thrilled to be back in Southern California to be close to her family and the beach. Maili is serving as the Springboard Social Justice Fellow and can’t wait to talk social activism with everyone! She loves to explore new places and will debate where to get the best tacos with anyone and everyone. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat about social activism or getting involved in the community!
Director of Community Philanthropy
(310) 208-3081 x214
A third generation Los Angeleno, Gisele was born, raised, and educated in Los Angeles. After earning her undergraduate degree at Occidental College in art and religious studies, Gisele went on to earn her MBA in Nonprofit Management at American Jewish University. Thereafter, Gisele served as the Director of Development at Valley Beth Shalom Day School and most recently, she worked with The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ Women’s Philanthropy Division. Growing up, Gisele was fortunate to attend Camp Alonim, A.J. Heschel Day School, de Toledo High School, and Brandeis Collegiate Institute. She adores spending time with her sweet dog Frankie!